Just say the TV host’s name and it’s almost guaranteed to elicit strong reactions. From her regular watchers who nod their heads in agreement to the people who wish the host ill will, most people have an opinion about the polarizing talking head.
Grace has been a solo talk show host since 2005 on HLN, but her profile and ratings soared this year as she relentlessly covered the Casey Anthony trial, never holding back from using strong language to show her disgust with the mother accused of killing her child. (This writer, and many others, were critical of this tactic.)
On the day of Anthony’s acquittal, Grace declared, “The devil is dancing tonight.” And now Grace will be, too. ABC announced Monday night that Grace will compete on the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.” It seems she has Tot Mom to thank for that.
Though Grace has never claimed to be a journalist, her position as a legal expert on various news shows, and subsequent public influence, calls into question the thin line between entertainment and journalism on broadcast news shows.
To be fair, she’s not the only news anchor or personality to go on the show. TV reporter and “Access Hollywood” host Giselle Fernández and commentator Tucker Carlson have both put on their dancing shoes for the show. The move hasn’t seemed to damage Carlson’s career, as he went on to start political site “The Daily Caller” in 2011.
It’s hard to blame the “DWTS” producers for their choice, and even Grace for accepting it. Her extreme persona is a perfect fit for reality TV. But something feels very wrong about a person influencing public opinion on high-profile cases one night and cha-chaing the next.